Monday, 28 December 2009

Iran Rises Again

One of the most haunting and enduring images of this year will be the video footage of the death of the beautiful and brave Neda Soltan, a young Iranian who had the temerity in that vicious theocracy to want and demonstrate for freedom.

The brutal crackdown on their own people by the illegitimate Iranian regime should be a shock to us all. Sadly it comes as no surprise. Indeed all of the bluff and bluster coming from the man who calls himself president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, about nuclear weapons research is probably down to his taking the usual dictator's route of trying to find some outside enemy to blame so as to unite his people.

It isn't working.

Today there are more reports of unrest in Tehran and across the country. The authorities are cracking down viciously and there are reports of deaths. The authorities will of course be mindful that the revolution which brought them to power in 1979 was also a slow burning affair, that the people's resentment simmered until it finally exploded just as it is threatening to do now. They have not forgotten the events and murders of the summer as the government turned on their own people so as to maintain their power.

It is to be hoped that Barack Obama, who offered the hand of friendship to Iran which has been spurned, now gives loud support to those who are challenging the mullahs and their puppet president. We are fast approaching a crisis with Iran over their nuclear weapons. But it isn't the weapons that are the problem. It is the government that is trying to get hold of them we worry about. After a rather poor initial year diplomatically Obama should now withdraw that hand and condemn this foul and dangerous regime giving every encouragement to those who are so bravely challenging it. That would be the right thing to do under any circumstances. But given the current state of relations and the political problems he will soon be facing, it seems to me to be a no brainer. Speak out, Mr President. The leader of the free world sometimes has to lead.

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